On last night’s Love & Hip Hop, it was the Producer’s Tell All! I have to say I didn’t hate the format as much as I thought I would. With the ladies not yelling over one another, it was easier to get more questions answered… and they seemed to ask the questions viewers would want to know, aka no John Salley softballs!
The show’s executive producer Mona Scott-Young reveals that because one several cast members now refuse to be in the same room together, coughs Chrissy, the show has to forgo the traditional reunion format. Instead, viewers are treated to a behind the scenes look at the inner-workings of the show as well as one-on-one interviews with the cast.
First up, Jim Jones! The man, the myth, the dude at the center of a lot of the ladies’ drama. This season’s new cast mate, Yandy Smith was the rapper’s manager for the past eight years, and she was supposedly brought on at the request of his girlfriend Chrissy Lampkin. However, quickly, the ladies began feuding, with Jim caught in the middle. It resulted in a total breakdown of Jim and Yandy’s professional relationship which we watched play out over the course of the season.
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Basketball Wives hasn’t premiered yet, but the drama preceding the show has been happening for months! In the latest, the much maligned Royce Reed talks the upcoming season, the arguments, and her opinion of creator and producer Shaunie O’Neal! Oh, and in case your wondering if Royce has any interest in joining the popular crowd – rest assured; she doesn’t!
Royce warns that this season viewers will see a decidedly less dramatic side of her as she stays out of the pettiness and the chaos. “Sorry to bust your bubble, but I’m not really in a lot of the drama,” she tells Sister2Sister. We will see her focusing on her outside projects, though. “I’m really out there just trying to do my own thing career-wise,” she explains. “I have a career outside of on this show.”
As for conflicts, Royce says there are none with the new editions to the cast, Kesha Nichols and Kenya Bell, who she says are definitely getting along a lot better than season one non-factor Meeka Claxton!
“[Meeka] wanted to be cool with certain people that did not want to be cool with her and she pretty much got stabbed in the back like 10, 20, 30 times,” Royce reveals. “I tried to tell her. Tami [Roman] tried to tell her, and it was like in one ear and like the other. You see where she is now … I don’t have an issue with Meeka at all. We’ve actually talked. She’s apologized.” Royce adds that Meeka has since admitted she formed opinions on the ladies before actually getting to know them.
One person Royce hasn’t mended fences with is Shaunie, but don’t expect confrontations between the two. “I don’t film with her. We don’t like each other. I don’t know what her issue is with me. … She was making up lies about me that wasn’t true,” Royce insists.
Denying rumors that Shaunie acts as the puppeteer amongst the ladies, Royce is adamant that isn’t true. “She doesn’t pimp me, and I’m pretty sure y’all see she doesn’t pimp me. My thing is, she does not own the show.”
“She doesn’t make me do anything, say anything … Yeah, it brings in a check, but I refuse to sell my soul for a check,” Royce asserts. Despite some of her mistakes from last season, Royce stands by them and insists she makes her own decisions on the show. “Everybody makes mistakes, it’s just ours is in front of the world.”
Speaking of mistakes and drama, another person Royce will be ignoring this season is resident mean girl, Evelyn Lozada! Darn – who will Evelyn be flinging drinks at then? Oh, nevermind… she’ll find someone!
Speaking of Evelyn, she is denying recent rumors that her abs were drawn on for her recent Maxim photoshoot. “People thought my abs were sprayed on but they weren’t. They are all real!,” she insists to TooFab, while promoting her upcoming book, The Wives Association: The Inner Circle. Does Evelyn really expect people to believe she wrote a book?
Evelyn adds that the shoot was an “amazing experience” even though it was freezing. Is that why she looks upset in every shot? Oh, and she also wants you to buy her new make-up, E by Evelyn Lozada, which comes out this month. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of it on the upcoming season. A photo of Evelyn’s Maxim shoot is below!
ARE YOU SURPRISED ROYCE MANAGED TO RETURN THIS SEASON GIVEN HER FIGHT WITH SHAUNIE? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WILL STAY OUT OF THE DRAMA? ARE EVELYN’S ABS REAL – YES OR NO?!
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The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that a new VH1 spin-off is coming to town. The network, which was once known for music videos back when MTV first started straying from music, is now known for some fighting, catty women. Its hit Basketball Wives now features two different series in Miami and Los Angeles, as well as the spin-off Baseball Wives.
Now the same has happened for Love & Hip Hop, as the franchise is expanding to include some lovely ladies of Atlanta.
Season 2 of the hit show, which centers around women in the hip-hop industry, averaged close to 3 million viewers, with 3.15 million tuning in to watch the last episode. Those numbers compare to RHOA viewership. For VH1 to hit those kind of benchmarks is huge for the network which is testing the waters with these bickering Betties.
The article cites, “Atlanta, of course, is known as a major town for hip hop. Several folks in the hip-hop/R&B world from Atlanta have already taken part in reality shows, including Keyshia Cole, Toni Braxton, Chilli, Monica, T.I. and Tiny and Kandi Burruss, to name a few. And if you go back a few years, there was Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston.”
Apparently, if you can’t sell your music, you need to be showcasing yourself on your own reality show, and it seems that Atlanta is the place to do it. In fact, TLC has already announced that its new reality show Preacher Wives will be filmed in the Georgia hot spot.
Casting for the Love & Hip Hop spin-off has not been finalized, though, it is being rumored that these ladies are in talks to join the cast – rapper Diamond, video model Summer Walker, rapper Rasheeda, and exotic dancer Gigi Maguire.
Meanwhile the reunion for the current season airs tonight at 8/7c on VH1. However, it’s being touted as more of a “special episode” than a reunion, seeing as several of the ladies couldn’t handle being in the same room with one another. I guess John Salley just doesn’t have the referee skills needed for this bunch!
Show producer Mona Scott Young revealed on twitter that they couldn’t film a reunion because some of the cast members wouldn’t be in the same room together. While it’s been rumored that those cast members are Chrissy Lampkinand Yandy Smith, sources are stating Chrissy is the lone one who refused to be in the same room as Yandy.
On tonight’s “special episode”–aptly titled “Reality Check”–Yandy speaks with producer (and her mentor) Mona Scott Young about the role she played on the show.
In the preview clip posted below, we find out it was Yandy’s nemesis Chrissy who originally wanted her on the show. That, however, changed as soon as Scott decided to make Yandy a regular on the show, much to the dismay of the soon to be Mrs. Jim Jones.
Explaining her decision to increase the camera time for Jim Jones’ former manager, Mona tells Yandy: “You were funny, you were charismatic, we wanted to see more of Yandy.“
This still doesn’t explain why Chrissy has so much rage towards Yandy. And it’s that rage that is causing the reunion to be nothing more than the ladies being interviewed separately. Where is the fun in that?
Of course, we know that even individually, the women can bring the drama as evident in the clip below, Chrissy is quick to remind Yandy, “B*tch, you on MY show!” Yikes! Once again Chrissy, you need a hobby! One that doesn’t involve Jim or bickering with the people in Jim’s life!
The 52-year-old breakout star of the season says, “I would like to have other surgery, like my eyes done and a slight face lift and my love handles removed by liposuction… I just need to get this liposuction fast around my bra and my backsides, and I’ll feel much better after that cause my age is kicking in.” Her sister even found her a doctor–on Facebook of all places!–who she will be consulting with this month.
No stranger to procedures, Big Ang confesses that her first foray into plastic surgery was in 1985.“I had a tummy tuck, liposuction, my lips injected and my breasts done three times,” Big Ang said. “The first time I had my breasts done was 27 years ago, and they put sponges in them. That was in 1985.”
Do what? In 2005 the sponges were replaced with saline implants, and then silicone implants were substituted for the saline a few years later.
Big Ang admits that she is done enhancing her chest, saying, “I’m good now, I have a 36 J and that is perfect. I think that when men look at me, they notice my height and my boobs. I am married to a 38-year-old and I am 52 and he is 6-foot-7.”
In other Mob Wives news, Renee Graziano’s father was recently subject to a sting. As she’s had a great deal of stress going on in her everyday life, this family drama can’t be helping. Nydailynews elaborates on the situation.
Anthony “TG” Graziano, a top Bonanno gangster who was secretly taped by his ex-son-in-law Hector “Junior” Pagan, was in a seemingly good mood at his recent arraignment when he pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion, the evidence of which was garnered from Junior’s taped conversations.
On Tuesday, the mobster, 71, waved to his daughter Lana and wife Veronica before greeting the Magistrate with “Good afternoon, ya honor.” He then asked Magistrate Marilyn Go, “Can you talk a little louder? I’m deaf in one ear.”
Go responded, “You look pretty good.” To which Graziano retorted, “What I got left.”
In November Graziano was arrested while living in a halfway house in Brooklyn as he was finishing out the sentence for a prior conviction. Additionally, he is named in an indictment against acting boss Vincent “Vinny TV” Badalamenti and capo Nicholas Santoro.
Patrick Parrotta, Graziano’s attorney gave an interview outside the courthouse, insisting everything was fine between the Graziano and his Mob Wives daughters. While Renee stars in the show, it is the brainchild of her sister Jennifer. Parrotta stated, “He does not hold what Hector did against his daughters.”
His lawyer further asserted that any animosity Graziano may have had about VH1’s hit show is in the past. “There’s no estrangement, everybody’s talking,” Parrotta said. Also, don’t expect to see Graziano pulling a Pagan any time soon. While he is currently in plea negotiations, his lawyer is adamant that he would never cooperate with the feds. Good to know!
Parrotta claims that he is unsure if the FBI directed Junior to go on the show in an effort to regain closeness with the Graziano family. Junior, who appeared in an episode filmed last summer, began wearing a wire last August.
Renee’s struggles with depression have been shown on the show, from her surgery-gone-so-wrong to her relationship with Junior and her father. Not to mention all her friends and co-starts are feuding. She recently tweeted the following earlier this week:
Like me, I am sure many of you are waiting with baited breath for the next installment of the drama. Unfortunately, we must be patient for yet another week. For some reason the Mob Wives don’t think they can compete with the Super Bowl. Thankfully there is a light at the end of our mafia tunnel, as Carla Facciolotweeted, “To all my #MOBWIVES fans we will not be on this Sunday!! :((( Enjoy the SUPERBOWL and we will be back next Sunday Feb 12th!!”
DO YOU THINK BIG ANG SHOULD HAVE MORE SURGERY? THOUGHTS ON TG’S ARRAIGNMENT? WAS JUNIOR USING RENEE TO GET TO HER FATHER?
We are patiently waiting for the Love & Hip Hop reunion, but thankfully, in the interim, the ladies from the show are still talking. And talking, and talking, and talking. Keep it coming, girls!
In an interview with Sister2Sister, songstress Olivia Longott opens up about the show’s sophomore season, as well as what’s on tap for her future.
Recently, Olivia and Mama Nancy Jones got into a verbal war on–where else?–twitter. The site brings us regular folks reality beef one mean tweet at a time. Since Chrissy Lampkin’s proposal to Jim Jones, Olivia and Nancy have rarely, if ever, filmed together. The singer waited a bit before retaliating to the rap matriarch’s twitter assault and now she’s defending herself in the blogoshpere.
Olivia wonders, “How can you be mad at me? First of all, she started it and I let her go on for a minute. You can’t just expect to disrespect me and I’m not going to say nothing. We’re both grown women.” Grown women with twitter accounts…by far the most dangerous kind of mature adults.
Not that the normally calm Olivia hasn’t gotten used to being at the center of conflict. It’s just usually not her own. This season, Olivia was placed smack dab in the middle of the spat between two of her friends, Jim’s fiancee Chrissy and Jim’s manager Yandy Smith. As viewers will recall, Chrissy pressed for Olivia to take a stand and choose sides between the feuding women, while Yandy maintained that she would respect her friend’s decision to remain neutral.
Olivia wants to clear up the misconception that she was shaken by Chrissy’s confrontational nature during those scenes. As for appearing fearful of the overbearing Chrissy, Olivia is adamant that she was “[n]ot scared at all.” She reveals her reaction “had nothing to do with fear.”
Olivia contends, “I’m just not choosing sides. Why should I have to choose sides? We’re all grown ups. I told both of them! I told Yandy where I thought she was wrong and I told Chrissy where I thought she was wrong.” I have to agree. I don’t think she was playing to either friend. She simply didn’t want to be put at the center of Yandy and Chrissy’s drama.
Still on everyone’s mind is Olivia’s refusal to accept the three-record deal from EMI. After watching her struggle all season to revive her flailing career, it was strange to see her dismiss an opportunity that many other artists would have accepted in a second. However, Olivia maintains that she needed to remain true to herself and her music. She believes that the deal could have robbed her of controlling the direction of her career path.
She reveals, “I’m passionate about my craft and I’m not going to settle for less. I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand. Just because other people might just take the first [thing] that comes at them, that doesn’t mean I’m going to.” Summing up her position, Olivia states that “[i]t has to make sense all around.”
Perhaps turning down the deal was the right choice, as Olivia alludes to the notion that she has other offers on the table. In fact, while she’s mum on what may happen in the future, she maintains that better deals have been forthcoming since filming ceased.
Meanwhile, Emily Bustamante has been strutting her stuff for KONTROL magazine. Some pictures from her December photo shoot are below. The girl looks stunning (and no, I’m not on her payroll, or anyone else’s). Eat your heart out, Fab!
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF OLIVIA’S INTERVIEW? SHOULD SHE HAVE TAKEN THE EMI DEAL? ARE YOU READY FOR THE REUNION? COMMENTS ON EMILY’S PICTURES?
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Last night’s Mob Wives had everyone talking… about each other… behind their backs.
Drita D’Avanzo invites her friend over for a drink… so she can sign her divorce papers. She hasn’t spoken to husband Lee because she’s waiting for an apology. She knows the divorce is pretty much going to blindside him, but Drita believes it’s a move she should have made when he was first incarcerated.
Karen Gravano meets her pseudo-cousin Ramona Rizzo for dinner to discuss her calm, cool and collected meeting with Carla Facciolo. Sheesh, after taking shots and making peace at the end of the last episode, Karen has certainly changed her tune. Karen isn’t sure if Carla is Drita’s lackey or if she’s manipulating the situation. Ramona thinks that Drita is their main problem, but she still isn’t digging Carla. Ramona has heard that Carla has said the two are arch enemies… she threatens that Carla has kids at home, so she doesn’t need to be spreading rumors about big, bad Ramona. If Ramona hated Carla as much as Carla thinks she does (did she, or did she not just threaten Carla and refer to her kids in said threat? Am I missing something?), she’d be outside her house pinning Carla… in a voodoo doll way, not a pinterest way. Karen declares that she’s made peace with Carla, before smack talking her yet again.
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Remember the days when people called it quits on their friendship by de-friending each other on Facebook? Yeah, that’s like so 2010.
Now, apparently the thing to do when you want to no longer be friends is tweet to the world about how much your former bestie sucks, followed by going to every media outlet that will take you and tell them how much you dislike said ex-bestie.
Another good way to end a friendship — get in a public fight with someone your ex-friend’s employ while attending the same event as said ex-friend. Aaahhh… 2012, making friendship ending bigger and more public than ever! Prime examples of the new way of de-friending? Jennifer Williams and Evelyn Lozada of Basketball Wives, Original Flavor.
TMZ is reporting that over the weekend Jennifer apparently had nothing better to do than hang out in the VIP suite at Gulf Stream Race Track in Hallandale, FL where she got into an altercation with Evelyn’s assistant Nia Crooks, who also remains friends with Jen.
Also at the event — Evelyn, herself! Apparently, in the midst of having a good time Evelyn Nia felt the need to call Jennifer out for being “too big for her britches,” a sentiment that is allegedly echoed by all Jennifer’s co-stars (aka Evelyn).
Since no one on the Basketball Wives payroll (save for Shaunie O’Neal) can remain composed in the midst of an argument, Jennifer and Nia got in each others’ faces and Nia slapped Jen!
Why were the ladies at a VIP event in the first place? For filming purposes. The producers broke up the altercation because really, that’s pretty much all they do, and restrained Evelyn from jumping on Jennifer. She just wanted to protect Nia, of course!
The police were called — because it’s sooo very VIP to call the police in the middle of event — and their report states Jennifer describes being “struck by Crooks with an open hand to the left side of her face,” while Jennifer called it “intentional.”
The reporting officer claims he saw no injuries on either woman and advised Jen that she could file a misdemeanor complaint if she was so inclined. The officer also reported that he believes the entire incident was captured on film. Lucky us!
Moving along, Evelyn is still complaining to the media about Jen despite being publicly chastised by her fiance Ochocinco for such immature behavior. Speaking to The Insider, Evelyn again explains what made her take to Twitter to put Jen on blast and reiterates that their friendship is done as done could be. Officially.
“My friendship with her is done,” Evelyn declares. “I was thinking how could I have been friends with this person who turned out to be so ugly inside.”
“Everyone knows Jennifer is bougie. Her mixed with a little bit of fame can really turn people off. She thinks she’s bigger than life right now.”
According to Evelyn the two, who have been friends for twelve years, began to have issues once she got engaged to Chad. “It started when it was all over the web that he had proposed. My thing is this: if you were proposed to, or you were with whomever, no matter what my opinion is, I’m still going to be like ‘hey girl if you’re happy, I’m there. Let me see the ring.’ She never asked to see my ring, she NEVER congratulated me. She could have gave a sh*t.”
Something also happened during the midst of filming (doesn’t it always) that was the last straw. “She did something publicly that pissed me off. I can’t say, because the season isn’t out yet, but let’s just say she did something else publicly that really pissed me off.”
Evelyn claims Jennifer has made it a full-time job talking to the media about her and that’s another reason their rift just can’t be mended. “If you go back and you search any interviews I’ve done, I don’t ever really discuss the other ladies,” Evelyn claims. Is she sure about that statement?
“Once I’m done with the show, I’m done with the show. But Jennifer, she’s agreed to do every interview, she’s constantly talking, talking, talking. And that’s my issue. Last season so many radio stations wanted to talk to me. And I never talked about her. But she can’t help herself. I had loyalty towards her. But she agrees to do these things. And I was quiet until yesterday. I finally exploded,” Evelyn reveals.
Jen accusing Evelyn of being jealous of her friendship with the very rich Ms. NeNe Leakes is what made Evelyn pick the iPhone and start a-Tweeting. “I felt like I needed to address it,” Evelyn explains. “And that’s when I said what I said on twitter. Why are you doing an interview when you’re lying?”
“We’re two months into filming and she KNOWS what the issue is. So why would you go on an interview and say my issue is with you being friends with NeNe? That’s what pissed me off. I’m cool with NeNe!,” Evelyn insists.
“Don’t make it seem like I’m hating on your friendship with other women, because I could care less! Jennifer went on vacation with a close friend of mine. I don’t care who you hang out with. I ended up calling NeNe and let her know ‘I don’t have an issue with you.’ Stop putting people into this. That baffled me. I don’t know what her angle is.”
Oh, and if you’re wondering about Evelyn’s accusation that Jen wears color contacts, Eveyln is standing by it! “Jennifer will only take those things out when she goes to sleep. In ten years I have rarely seen her without contacts,” Evelyn laughs.
Well, I eagerly anticipate Jen’s response interview! You know it’s coming! And finally, Jen is now backtracking on her original comments which set Evelyn off! Days after telling Sister 2 Sister that Evelyn was jealous of her friendship with Nene, the blog removed the article and posted a retraction claiming the conversation with Jen was supposed to be off the record and not for an interview. Uh uh.
And finally, today VH1 released the official cast photo for the new season! The above photo also features the two new castmembers — Kesha Ni’cole Nicholsand Kenya Bell.
[Photos Credit: WENN]
DO EVELYN AND JENNIFER NEED TO STOP TALKING ABOUT EACH OTHER ALREADY? WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON: EVELYN OR JEN’S?
As it turns out, Mob Wives break out star Big Ang is more than well qualified to be on the show!
In a new bombshell report by the Smoking Gun, it turns out Big Ang, age 51, (real name Angela Raiola) is a convicted felon.
Back in 2001, Big Ang was indicted on six felony counts after an undercover investigation and drug bust targeting a mob-tied drug ring operating in New York City. She was one of the 15 defendants named in the criminal case after she was caught repeatedly selling cocaine in the undercover operation by the DEA and New York Police.
According to federal agents, Big Ang was as an associate of the drug ring’s leader, who was sentenced to almost 13 years in prison (and is currently in prison). Big Ang is said to have provided cocaine for “street level distribution” selling the drugs in the Brooklyn bars where she worked.
The charges against her included conspiracy to distribute and five other charges related to separate cocaine sales she made to undercover cops. In fact, her handbag contained 14 small plastic bags containing cocaine during her arrest.
In March 2003, Big Ang — out free on $100,000 bond– pled guilty to some of the charges. In October 2003, she was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to spend four months under home confinement. And nine months later, in July 2004, a federal judge ordered her to enroll in “an outpatient and/or inpatient drug treatment or detoxification program.” Wowzers.
Moving on, as no Mob Wives family is more dynamic than on-again/off-again/married/separated/divorced/reconciled couple Renee Graziano and her ex-husband/new “roommate” Junior Pagan. In an interview with HollywoodLife.com, Renee opens up about how the couple’s roller coaster relationship has affected their 17-year-old son AJ.
Renee reveals, “AJ told me, ‘Protect your heart.’ He wanted it to work out, but he didn’t want to see his mother hurt, cry and see me go through the motions that I am now.”
After forgiving her ex-husband, who during filming was awaiting sentencing, Renee recalls, “AJ was nervous for me because he knows the amount of love I have for his father. He was happy, because I was happy. He was happy as well because he had his mother and father in the house at the same time, something he hasn’t had since he was 5 years old.”
Renee explains that her relationship with her son is very close and she doesn’t sugarcoat her past with Junior. She admits, “My son was my adviser. I speak freely with AJ. I want him to not do what his father did [in the past]. I’ve taught him to respect women.”
Discussing her tumultuous relationship with Junior, Renee shares, “We got married very young. I hold him accountable for his actions, but do I blame him this far into the game? No really. We all make mistakes.” However, when the pair reconciled on the show, Renee admits to feeling “ecstatic, overwhelmed, and at peace,” citing, “I was happy to have my family. It was something I waited for, for a very long time.
Unfortunately for Renee (or fortunately, depending on your take of the situation), her relationship with Junior didn’t remain happy for long. She reveals that viewers are going to see the duo do a 360 as the season progresses.
VH1 recently announced Mob Wives has secured a talk show-esque spin off, which sounds very similar to the Teen Mom’s after episode sofa chats. Apparently, “Mob Wives: The Sit Down” will feature celebrity guests discussing freshly aired episodes. Dear VH1, this has been done before, only Bravo calls it Watch What Happens Live.
I jest, because if any group of ladies warrants a post-show conversation, it’s this dysfunctional mix! The show will be hosted by “Big Morning Buzz Live’s” Carrie Keegan. Vh1 is banking on the fact that the Mob Wives’ sophomore season has averaged 2.2 million viewers, 1.3 being the coveted 18-49 age group, which equals a ratings gold mine. In its time slot, it’s the number one show in this demographic with viewership up 67% from the first season. Those are some numbers my friends!
The mobster talk sensation has already been slated for seven episodes, and it will be the second spin-off for the often talked about series. The first spin-off, Mob Wives: Chicago, will premiere this spring.
Also, because it’s Friday and I love y’all, I’m leaving you with some Big Ang before photo amazingness courtesy of VH1. Those pictures are below for your viewing pleasure. TGIF!